Patient and Family Advisory Councils

Cancer Health

Before the Spectrum Health Adult Blood and Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic opened, the Cancer Health PFAC was involved in the development of the clinic space, helping with patient materials and patient care flows. Now that the Adult BMT has reached a milestone of providing more than 600 transplants, the leadership team engaged the council to provide insights regarding the referral process and ways to improve the overall experience for the patient and family. PFAC members walked the path of the new patient, experiencing all the components of the first visit. The council provided recommendations on ways that the first appointment could be managed better to reduce the overwhelming feeling that many patients have. The council suggested that the transplant coordinator be the first person to meet with the patient, providing an overview of what to expect during the appointment and introducing members of the care team.

Patients impacted by cancer and subsequently our program, want to give back. They want to make it better for the next person. The PFAC is one avenue for patients to give back. Their gift helps future patients as we incorporate their recommendations. As leaders, we are so much richer from their unvarnished insights.

Mary Kay VanDriel, Vice President

Thanks to all of our Council Members:

Cancer Program Patient and Family Advisory Council

  • Heather Gluszewski, Chair
  • Ellie Wilcox, Vice Chair
  • Deb Anderson
  • Kathy Bolich
  • Becca Greenhoe
  • Bryan Honorable
  • Charles Hurt
  • Marlene Marchena
  • Tim Murphy
  • Michelle Paepke
  • Tonya Vander Slice
  • Sue VanDuinen

Spectrum Health Leadership

  • Anas Al-Janadi, MD, Vice President, Department Chief
  • Mary Kay VanDriel, Vice President
  • Mary Dougherty, Director
  • Gerri Roobol, Director
  • Patricia Jereck, Director, Cancer and Hematology Centers of Western Michigan
  • Deb Sprague, Improvement Specialist
  • Lisa White, Administrative Assistant

As a patient, I’ve appreciated having the opportunity to give perspective and feedback; we never lack opinions and thoughts, and they are always accepted with respect, patience and understanding.

We are making an impact on the experience of patients and families by making a visit more comfortable, information easier to understand or services more accessible. No matter how big or small, it all matters.

Heather Gluszewski, Chair

Member Highlight - Deb Anderson

Can you please share your experiences with Spectrum Health?

As a survivor of throat cancer, my family and I have experienced the expertise of Spectrum Health Speech Language Pathology for maintenance of my speech valve. In 2013, I was unable to speak for six months and finally received a device to help me talk. When I first received my valve, I had no idea what to expect. The team has been so supportive through my entire journey, not only with my rehabilitation, but helping me in emergency situations.

What motivated you to be a part of the PFAC and why do you stay involved?

When I was asked to be on the PFAC, I jumped at the chance to be able to have a small impact on cancer survivors. I stay involved with PFAC because as a former clinician and a patient, I believe I offer a unique perspective seeing both sides of the experiences. It also allows me to be involved with making a difference in how other patients and families experience Spectrum Health and the cancer programs.